I’m still being contacted regularly by aspiring account planners (thanks for getting in touch!) and it feels like my series of Straight Talking Advice for Wannabe Planners is due for another instalment (if this sounds like your kind of thing and you haven’t done so already, read part one and part two first).
This time I want to focus not on the practical stuff like skillset and good books to read, but on the bigger picture.
It seems to me that not everyone who wants a career as an Account Planner really understands exactly what the job entails.
In the last few months I’ve had tell aspiring Planners:
– No, you probably won’t be earning £50K in your first year as a Junior Planner
– No, I don’t think anyone would hire you as a freelance Planner with just Planning internships under your belt
– No, I don’t think you’d be able to run a full blown Planning department in another country after a year as a UK Planner
Perhaps it’s the fault of all we Planners Wot Blog, but there seems to be a bit of a veil over what we actually do all day, what skills we need to do it and how long it takes to become any good at it.
In 2009 I wrote about a day in my (reality checked) life as a full time agency Account Planner. Freelance life is a bit less predictable, but to give you an idea, these are some of the things I did in the last month:
- Prepared for, facilitated and wrote up a workshop
- Researched cultural differences in a potential overseas market for a UK retailer
- Wrote an emergency quick fix marketing plan for a client’s emergency quick fix problem
- Managed a quantitative research project (I need the output for some brand development work in Jan)
- Managed a qualitative research project for the same client (the groups are next week, I’m moderating)
- Researched and wrote a report on predicted consumer behaviour for Summer 2012
- Chaired two client meetings and made sure everyone did what they said they would afterwards
- Rewrote someone else’s brand positioning document to make it more engaging
- Spent two hours in the library, a hour queuing at the post office and 30 minutes in Staples
So I’m asking my fellow Planners Wot Blog – will you write a quick day-in-the-life or ‘what I did this month’ about what being an Account Planner is REALLY like too please? Link back to this post or drop me an email and I’ll make sure they all end up linked from here.
03/01/2012 – here’s Sarah’s contribution
15/01/2012 – and you should also have a look at page 49 of Heather’s 2011 Planner Survey for more on What Planners Actually Do All Day
18/01/2012 – here’s Andrea’s thoughts
image from here